Monday, 25 March 2013

A Ship, A Ship


 Under my bed is Omar’s treasure trove. It is an odd assortment of a few planks of wood, a handle of some discarded racket, a few iron rods, a gigantic nail that serves the purpose of a hammer, and the miraculous scotch tape that can join a few unlikely objects to make dreams come true.

The cave under my bed is considered an ideal repository not just of Omar’s property but his trust as well.

“I know you will never throw it away. Everybody thinks it’s junk, but you will not let anyone touch it, right?” he asks me with no trace of doubt in his eyes about my unflinching loyalty.

“I won’t,” I reiterate my trustworthiness. Don’t we all have treasure troves that can well be junkyards for others? Who knows why something is treasured by someone and for what reason.

“And if you do so….,” here he rolls his eyes, puts his hands on his hips and makes a face depicting all the anger that a six year old can muster up. “I will be very angry.” Omar likes to assert his authority from time to time by assuming this eye-rolling-mock-anger pose to make sure that I don’t forget who’s is really the boss.

“Now, don’t scare me. Nobody will be allowed even to sneak a peek at it,” I say.

“Good.” Omar is reassured. I know he believes not only in my allegiance to his cause but my docility as well.

Actually this preparation against any untoward invasion of his property is driven by an assault on the ship that Omar made using Saif’s wickets as keel of the ship. And as long as the wickets served as keel of Omar’s ship, cricket would have been in limbo and a cricket-less world is a major calamity in Saif’s scheme of things. So he dismantled Omar’s ship.

After a decisive waterloo that ensued the dismantling of the ship, Omar collected a few more items and decided to start again. And he selected the cave under my bed to house his building material.

“I will build a ship. And we will go to Karachi,” he decides to reward my loyalty by taking me on a cruise.

Perhaps this is what our intensely personal treasures are meant for: to make a ship for charting the turbulent and exciting waters of life.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Mobby’s Great Temptation


The zeal for self improvement and self developments can hit you once in a while. But when a three- year- old feels its lure and succumbs to it, it is mighty impressive. 

One morning Mobby decides to embark on a journey towards perfection. And, as he is wont to do, he announces his life-altering decision at breakfast. His journey begins by a public avowal of resisting something dark and sweet: chocolate.

“I will never eat chocolate again,” he vows. 

But who ever said that the path to excellence is not paved with mouthwatering temptations! Just when you want to be good, you encounter all the good reasons to be not so good.

“Oh! Is that so? I was thinking of buying a big packet of chocolates…too bad, you can’t eat it,” I become temptation personified.

Mobby purses his lips tightly and his eyes open wide with a disbelieving expression. He obviously isn’t prepared for this attempt on my part to dissuade him from the righteous path.

“Chocolate can make your teeth black.” He gives me an accusing look.

“Yes. So it’s good that you have decided not to eat it. Now Roshan (his big brother) can have two.” By now I have started enjoying the expression on Mobby’s face. I think this has to do with some genetic code in my DNA which rolls back to Eve.

“Chocolate can give you worms in your tummy,” Mobby comes up with another reason to support his argument. I can see that he is trying to convince himself.  

“All the more reason not to eat it. Let others have worms and black teeth,” I smile at him and have a strong feeling that Mobby doesn’t like me anymore.

Second day. I have forgotten all about the Mobby’s resolve and my role of the temptress; but Mobby hasn’t.

The first thing he asks me in the morning is: “Did you buy chocolates?”

I look at him. Yesterday’s determined look on Mobby’s face is now replaced by an anxious expression betraying inner struggle.

“I was busy yesterday, but will get them today. You are not eating them, right?” There is definitely some primordial genetic code at work.

“No,” his voice is feeble and he adds, “are you going to buy the big bars of chocolate or small ones?”

“Big ones,” I say with relish.

“Big ones are not so bad for teeth.”  Mobby is now learning to rationalize.

“I don’t think so. In fact, big one is worse, it can blacken your teeth faster.” I haven’t given up my negative role.

Mobby’s is not listening to me. He is considering something else: “Are you going to buy the ones with nuts or without nuts?” he asks.

“With nuts,” I reply.

“Chocolates with nuts don’t give you worms.” He is gradually piling up arguments for his inevitable decision.

“I don’t think so. But you want to eat it?” I ask.

“No,” he pauses and replies in a still feeble voice.

Third day. Mobby still hasn’t forgotten about the chocolates which I never bought. But on the third day of his resolve he is seems happy. The determined, anxious look has given way to a relaxed demeanor. He has settled the issue of his temptation.

“I also want to have chocolates,” he tells me.

“But black teeth and worms?”

“It doesn’t matter.”  Mobby goes skipping outside to play.

Mobby was able to resist his temptation for two whole days. Not a mean feat for a three-year-old; it is more than what many of can manage at a much more advanced age.